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Funding boost a game-changer for cycling in Wellington

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Cycling in Wellington is set to become safer, easier and more enjoyable following today’s announcement that the Government is investing $20 million from the Urban Cycleways Fund into a range of cycling projects across the region.

The NZ Transport Agency, Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council, Kapiti Coast District Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council are together welcoming the package of funding, that will see ten new facilities created around the region.

The funding package takes the total spend on cycling in Wellington for the next three years to approximately $65 million, and will help establish cycling as an integral part of the city’s transport network.

The programme will mean the construction of a new cycleway linking Wellington to the Hutt Valley is set to begin in the next few years, with funding for two large sections of the link– Melling to Petone and Bunny St to Ngauranga. The Ngauranga to Petone section is currently being developed to complete the link and an announcement on a preferred option will be made later this year.

Other projects that will be accelerated by the boost are:

  • Wellington CBD Route package
  • Wellington Eastern Route package
  • Beltway(Lower Hutt)
  • Eastern Bays Shared Path (Lower Hutt)
  • Rail Corridor Route (Upper Hutt)
  • Seal and widening of the Hutt River Trail (Upper Hutt)
  • Onepoto - Wi Neera shared Pathway (Porirua)
  • Stride n’ Ride (Kapiti Coast)
  • Wainuiomata Hill Shared Path (advanced in first tranche of Urban Cycleway Programme funding)

NZ Transport Agency Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says the funding boost will kick-start record investment, enabling construction to begin happen on all the targeted cycleways over the next three years.

“This is a real game-changer for cycling in Wellington. Not only will these cycleways make cycling safer and more enjoyable, but it will also promote healthy activity, it will help to ease congestion, and it will enable Wellington to reach for its true potential in terms of cycling uptake.

Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown welcomed the decision.

“This reinforces Wellington’s future as a smart progressive city that provides real transport choices including good infrastructure for cyclists.

“Funding of the link between Bunny Street and Ngauranga Gorge is a key component of a corridor between Hutt Valley and Wellington’s CBD and the wider Great Harbour Way.

“Work on the link from Ngauranga to Petone will need further funding and I have been assured this is in the programme for following years with decisions on preferred options expected later this year.

“There is no doubt the additional funding announced today is a boost for Welling and supports the work being undertaken by the Wellington City Council to expand the network across the city,” she says.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says, “We are thrilled with this announcement of funding from the Urban Cycle Ways Programme. The walking and cycling projects we proposed in our Council’s Long Term Plan received strong support from our residents and we are looking forward to seeing these get underway. They will greatly enhance our city, and we are pleased to be developing stronger transport connections with Wellington.”

Fran Wilde, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council, says the funding  is  a massive boost for commuter cycling in the region. “Cycling is an increasingly integral part of our region’s transport network. Safe and resilient cycleways will make cycling a viable option for commuters, meaning less congested roads, a cleaner environment and a healthier population. It’s a win / win for Wellington.”

Upper Hutt Mayor, Wayne Guppy says, “This is the result of good planning and political determination—perseverance which has led to this wonderful opportunity.”

“I want to both congratulate and thank the government for their contribution toward these projects. The establishment of the Urban Cycleways Fund shows that they have rightly identified cycling as a key area for growth in our national psyche—both for tourism, and for the health and wellbeing of New Zealand’s citizens.

“This is a great way to promote our assets and, in Upper Hutt, fits in with our city vision of Life. Leisure. Live it!

“It is also great to see complementary funding going toward our neighbours in the Wellington region adding to the cohesive work we have all been doing—building up cycleway networks that are regionally, and now nationally significant.“

Kāpiti Mayor Ross Church says the package will go a long way to realising the district’s aspirations to become a cycling and walking centre.

“Our district is flat and has a varied landscape that makes it ideal for walking and cycling. This funding will give us the ability to extend our network of cycling routes by adding loops and linkages and creating seamless commuter connections.

“With the Kāpiti Expressway under construction, with its associated off-road facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, this funding couldn’t have come at a better time and will allow us to maximise the potential for non-vehicle routes around the road.”

KEY URBAN CYCLING PROJECTS

Melling to CBD (Wellington to Hutt Valley)

This 12km high quality cycleway will connect Melling in Lower Hutt to Bunny St in Wellington Central. This is a key corridor between the Hutt Valley and Wellington’s CBD.  This cycle route will connect to existing Hutt City and Wellington City walking and cycling networks and will also link Lower Hutt residents to their workplaces and educational facilities both in Hutt City and Wellington central.

It will offer a safer and more attractive route for journeys between home and work or educational institutions, and will pay particular attention to how cyclists travel through intersections. These additional facilities are expected to encourage new, less confident people to cycle as well as catering to the high numbers of people who use this route already.

Wellington CBD Route package

This package of cycling facilities will form the basis of a Wellington CBD cycle network which will link to the major commuting corridors in Wellington and the waterfront shared path

.A range of design treatments will be used including separated bike lanes, shared paths, slower speeds and shared road space.. These facilities are expected to encourage new people to cycle by providing more attractive connections to the city from the key corridors. This cycling package is expected to attract over 8,000 people each day.

Wellington Eastern Route package

This package of routes will provide cycling facilities that connect the eastern suburbs of Wellington with local centres, schools and Wellington CBD. The cycling projects will provide an increased level of service for cycle trips within Kilbirnie and Miramar and will provide access to Wellington airport and the Miramar film industry. They will also link to popular recreational routes around the Miramar Peninsula and coastal areas.

These cycling facilities are expected to attract over 1,000 people each day. Sections of this package will also form part of the Great Harbour Way which will have  tourism and recreational benefits for the region. Route alignment and construction start and completion dates for this corridor will be determined once Wellington’s cycling framework is finalised.

Beltway – Lower Hutt

This 16km off-road shared path will connect residential areas to workplaces and employment hubs, the Hutt Hospital, schools, the CBD and shopping areas. The Beltway will be a loop track and will also link to the Wainuiomata Hill cycleway and form an improved section of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail through the city. The Beltway route will also provide connections to major public transport hubs, including Waterloo and Melling train stations.

This project provides safer and more attractive connected routes for residents wishing to cycle throughout the city. This cycling project is expected to attract over 1,000 people each day. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2016 and be completed by June 2018.

Eastern Bays Shared Path – Lower Hutt

This 1.25km shared path along the primary corridor will connect residents in the Eastern Bays to workplaces,schools, shops and public transport facilities in the rest of Hutt City, and further through to the Wellington CBD in the future by joining up and connecting to existing cycleways. It will also connect to the Wainuiomata Hill shared path and the Beltway path.

The path will be constructed in conjunction with seawalls in the same location, at a total estimated project cost of $4 million.

This project will provide for a safer and continuous cycling route for residents wishing to cycle between the Eastern Bays and the rest of Hutt City. It will help to attract new people to commute by bike, especially those who currently lack confidence or perceive the route as unsafe. This cycling project is expected to attract over 300 people each day. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2016 and be completed by June 2018.

Rail Corridor Route – Upper Hutt

This 6.52km off-road shared path between the Upper Hutt CBD and Silverstream will link the urban area north of Upper Hutt with a number of schools, shopping centres and major employment areas.

This project will provide a safer and more attractive option for over 3,500 students to cycle to a number of schools in the area. With off-road access to shopping centres and employment areas, there is likely to be an increased number of people choosing to commute by bike, especially those who currently lack confidence to cycle on the road. It will also provide cycle access to rail stations, improving the connectivity of the cycle network and public transport through the city. This cycling project is expected to attract over 250 people each day. The construction of this shared path is anticipated to beginin late 2015 and be completed by late 2017.

Seal and Widening Hutt River Trail – Upper Hutt

Improvements will be made to a 16km off-road shared path along the length of the Hutt Valley. This direct route is the primary off-road link between the Upper and Lower Hutt Valley, and forms part of the Rimutaka Rail Trail. It also provides access to the CBD, a number of schools and the Whakatiki Street industrial and commercial area.

This route provides a safer link between Te Marua and the central area of Upper Hutt that is separated from the 80km/h section of State Highway 2. It will also encourage more recreational use of the Rimutaka Rail Trail and help support economic growth in the area by encouraging more trail users to visit Upper Hutt. This cycling project is expected to attract around 350 people each day. Construction is anticipated to begin in mid-2016 and be completed by mid-2018.

Onepoto - Wi Neera shared Pathway - Porirua

This 1.45km separated shared path from Titahi Bay to Porirua CBD will connect 10,000 residents with the railway station, workplaces, services and amenities in central Porirua. It will connect to existing walking and cycling facilities on Wi Neera Drive and will help to complete the cycling network in the area.

This project will provide a safer route for people wishing to cycle to the CBD from Titahi Bay, and will improve the connectivity of the cycling network. This cycling project is expected to attract around 100 people each day. Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2016 and be completed by mid-2017.

Stride n’ Ride Kapiti Coast

This package will deliver more than 30km of off-road shared paths and on-road cycleways that will create key commuter connections to busy rail stations, schools, local centres and the new Kapiti Expressway cycleway.

Kapiti’s three-year cycling programme will focus on gaps in the wider cycleway network and aim to create links with the new Kapiti expressway cycleway, creating more opportunities for cycling in the district. Following the example of New Plymouth and Hastings, Kapiti aspires to be a community where walking and cycling is seen as a desirable, healthy and efficient way of getting around. Its aim is to provide safer cycling connections to key destinations, including schools and developing a positive cycling culture. This enhanced cycling network will be used by more than 1000 people a day. Construction of these facilities is expected to begin in mid-2015 and be completed by mid-2018.CT

To find out more about the Urban Cycleways Programme you can visit the NZ Transport Agency website www.nzta.govt.nz/UCP(external link).  

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